Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 448 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 13th, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Elemental Trilogy
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4/5 stars
I absolutely loved the first book in this series and enjoyed the second book as well. This is the final book in this series and honestly my least favorite of the bunch. The beginning is a bit awkward and hard to engage with but the story improved as it continued.
The story starts with Titus and Iolanthe in the desert with the Rebel forces. The Bane is still hunting them and has issued an ultimatum; Titus must hand over Iolanthe or the Bane will destroy all of Titus’s realm. Titus and Iolanthe decide they must finally cut off the Bane at his source; they must find his original body and destroy it. However that is not an easy task. To get to the Bane’s body they will have to journey into the heart of Atlantis and deep into the dark depths of the Bane’s fortress.
This book starts right in the middle of a battle in the desert, pretty much where the last book left off. However, it was a bit jarring to be thrown right back into that battle while you were struggling to remember what happened in the last book (for some reason the 2nd book was a bit forgettable for me) and try to remember who was who. I really struggled with the first 20% or so of this book and almost stopped reading it.
However the story does pick up and gets better as Iolanthe and Titus get back on the road and come up with a plan to destroy the Bane. There are a lot of surprises and the 2nd half of the book is very good. I think the main problem with this book is pacing; the beginning and parts of the middle really drag while the end is absolutely crammed full of revelations and action scenes. It makes for an inconsistently paced story that’s a bit hard to read.
The other complaint I have is that despite Titus and Iolanthe’s declared love for each other they still don’t trust each other and work together. They don’t respect each other’s skills but are constantly trying to protect and exclude each other. I have a real problem with this. They do start working together a bit better toward the end of the book; but throughout most of the story they make a lot of the same relationship mistakes over and over again,
Towards the end of the book there are some awesome magical battles which were very fun to read about. Additionally I enjoyed some of the plot twists in the second half. I also enjoyed how everything wrapped up.
Overall this was a decent conclusion to the Elemental Trilogy. I think it could have been a much better book if it had been paced better. I did enjoy how the story was wrapped up so that was nice. I would recommend this whole series to fans of magic heavy fantasy.